Jul 18

I was fortunate enough to have one of the best third grade teachers on the planet.  Mr. Kremer at Sutterville Elementary school retired a few years ago, but I still remember his class over 25 years later.  What made Mr. Kremer’s classes so memorable were his hands-on projects.  When we studied solar engery, our project was to use cardboard and tinfoil to make an enormous solar oven that we baked smores on outside.  When we studied Native Americans, we built a wigwam in the P.E. field.   There were also the more conventional projects, like paper mache lanterns for the Chinese New Year, but the pièce de résistance was the 6-foot paper mache tyrannosaurus rex we built for our dinosaur lesson.  The project was so engrossing that kids who finished classwork early were permitted to go in the back and work on the dinosaur, and it took two years to finish (the class after mine completed it).

I had the joy of Mr. Kremer and his projects because, even though I lived in a poorer and less-funded school district, I was sent to a school in an upper-middle class neighborhood to participated in a special program for mentally gifted minors.  But what about kids today who aren’t so fortunate?  What do teachers do when they have innovative ideas but no budget to carry them out?  A website called donorschoose.org has come to their rescue.

Donorschoose.org is a way for teachers to list their wishes and receive donations in order to carry them out.  Teachers list needs that vary from normal school supplies for students who can’t afford them to specialized curriculum materials to augment specific lessons.

If you are concerned about the current state of American education, donorschoose.org is a great way to contribute.